Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Philosophy (Ph.D)



First Advisor

Raymond DiGiuseppe

Second Advisor

Wilson McDermut

Third Advisor

William Chaplin


Healthy lifestyle habits are widely known to improve physical and psychological wellbeing, but many struggle to regularly practice these behaviors. As an overarching solution has yet to emerge, it may prove more fruitful to instead personalize behavior change recommendations and interventions. The present study examined whether individual responsiveness to internal and external expectations can be measured, as it could be a useful behavioral factor to target with tailored treatment recommendations. This construct was first postulated by popular author Gretchen Rubin (2015) but has yet to be studied empirically. For the current project, the Internal and External Expectancies Scale (IEES) was developed to be more comprehensive and addresses structural limitations of the currently available Four Tendencies Quiz (FTQ). The scale’s psychometric properties and validity were assessed. Participants were 407 adults (85% female; 64% White) ages 18 - 77 (M = 27.3; SD = 13.6) who were recruited from online groups and a university participant pool. They completed a series of measures that included the IEES, a shortened version of the FTQ (FTQ-SF), a measure of the Big Five personality factors (20-IPIP-B5), and one of overall wellbeing (PROMIS-GH). Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) examined the best simple structures emerging from the data, and confirmatory factor analysis compared null, theorized, and EFA-informed models. The internal consistency of the best-fitting model’s factors was assessed. Correlations were run between the resulting IEES subscales, 20-IPIP-B5, PROMIS-GH, and FTQ-SF for further examination of scale validity, relevance, and to compare the two measures of expectation responsiveness. A bifactor model where items loaded on either an internal or external expectation factor and one of three contexts emerged as the strongest. This indicates that expectation sensitivity and resistance are poles of a single continuum and that individuals’ responses are more consistent within contexts than across, as a general personality trait may have implied. The IEES had several significant moderate correlations with established measures of personality and wellbeing, and these were stronger than the results of correlations of the FTQ-SF. However, the EFA and internal consistency scores suggest the need for further refinement to fully account for the importance of assessing context.